Iraqi ambassador to U.S. barred from traveling to Baltimore

October 24, 1990|By Diane Winston

The long arm of international diplomacy swooped down on Baltimore this week when the U.S. State Department forbade the Iraqi ambassador from appearing before a local group.

The Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs, a non-profit organization that invites international leaders to address global issues, learned Monday that Mohamed Sadiq al-Mashat, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, could not travel to Baltimore for an address yesterday.

"It adds a little zest for this to happen," said Frank Burd, the council's president. "Not that we need to add much zest to the situation."

Rather than cancel Dr. al-Mashat's speech, the council used a closed-circuit satellite connection to transmit his address from a Washington studio to the auditorium at the College of Notre Dame.

As a result of the Persian Gulf crisis, American diplomats in Iraq and Iraqi diplomats in the United States need permission to travel more than 25 miles from their embassies.

Dr. al-Mashat had previously received permission to make speeches around the country, but the State Department revoked approval of the Baltimore event, an act Dr. Burd linked to Iraqi prohibitions on American travel.

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